sidebra with sorting hats: ***Spoiler Alert*** This post contains spoilers on both the Twilight saga and the Harry Potter series. If you haven't read them, then please crawl out from under your rock and go do so. Trust us on this.
I know a lot of people who loved reading the Twilight series, but are staunchly "Team Trilogy" - meaning they would rather have the series end with Eclipse. And this isn't solely due to the freakshow of a birthscene in Breaking Dawn. Although that plays into it (seriously, how could it not?), most of the Team Trilogy members hated the whole Disney-esque happy ending that came later. The anticlimactic Volturri scene and the "gooey" finale.
Personally, I love a happy ending. I liked Breaking Dawn, although it's not my favorite of the series, and I still start happy sighing at then end, even if it is a bit much. So, this got me thinking about writing and reading and endings. I saw a tweet from a YA author (and I cannot remember who!) asking about what kind of endings people like - Happy Endings? Ambiguous endings? Tragic but redeeming endings?
I have mixed feelings on Breaking Dawn and it's brand of "HEA" or "Happily Ever After" for a few reasons. On one hand, I didn't want anyone to die. Well, okay, there were some parts in the middle where I thought Jake could bite it and I'd be fine with it, but overall my inner 10 year old wanted it all to tied up nice and neat. On the other hand, while the premise of Twilight was unbelievable (vampires and werewolves and psychics, oh my!) the relationships within the series are what kept us hooked. Real life relationships often don't have neat happy endings like that. So my rational mind fought against it.
Agreed. Honestly, even if the bad guys had died, the ending of Breaking Dawn would have been more substantial, or more believable. I think the fact that nothing was sacrificed made it all the more difficult to swallow. I have to be honest though - after my first reading of Breaking Dawn, I was completely content with the way things ended. It wasn't until the second (and third, and fourth, and...) time reading it that these things started to occur to me.
I think there are "levels" of HEAs. For Stephenie Meyer, obviously her HEA included every character. As a reader, my HEA criteria revolved around Bella and Edward. Personally, as we saw Bella's love for Renesmee, even her death (to protect her daughter and her daughter's future) could be construed as a "happy" ending, as long as her needs (Renesmee's survival) were met. I don't know, maybe I've grown cynical in my old age, but my idea of a happy ending and Stephenie's idea of a happy ending are vastly different.
For example, **spoiler alert here people** Harry Potter had a "happy" ending in my mind. Even though people died.
I could not agree more! And, when Dumbledore died, I ugly cried. Serious sobbing. But, his death only made the story that much stronger. And the deaths in Book 7 were almost unbearable, but again, it made the ending all the more powerful. I still get chills (I have them right now) just thinking about the ending of the Harry Potter series.
Oh, me too! I think this is the point, though. Each author was true to the story she wanted to tell. I'm not debating strength of writing or anything like that. I'm just pointing out how each had different criteria.
I think that Meyer had a love story and at the end of the day she wanted her characters happy. I can see how, for her, that happiness needed to come without any hint of sorrow. Sure, it's not realistic, but it's what we'd all want out of life. Rowling, however, had a story of survival and friendship. I feel like her message was one of good conquering evil and as long as evil was vanquished then she accomplished her goal.
Well said Meadow. And perhaps the reason millions of people love the Twilight saga is because it's, as you say, what we'd all want out of life.
Especially the becoming a vampire thing. Because we all want to be sparkly vampires now! *wink*
So tell us your favorite happy endings, and we'll discuss them along with ours next week!